The Inuit knife known as an ulu was traditionally a woman’s cutting tool. This example was made in the early twentieth century in the area of Port Harrison, Quebec. It has a crescent-shaped metal blade and an ivory handle decorated with fish and lines. A smaller ulu with a five-centimetre blade was used for slitting animal sinew to make thread and cord, and to cut patterns. Larger ulus were used to scrape animal hides, fillet fish, or slice meat.
— Text by Beverley Tallon
In The Beaver...
90 Years Ago
In the March 1922 issue, author Phillip Henry Godsell related a hair-raising canoe trip taken in 1905. Godsell and two of his companions watched helplessly while the two other men on the voyage, and all of their provisions, spilled into the treacherous water near Swampy Lake, Northwest Territories. After five days of hunger and misadventure, the travellers reached a Native encampment where they were provided with food and transportation.
60 Years Ago
Although a fur trader’s life at Lachine, Quebec, was very disciplined, it was sometimes interspersed with bouts of gaiety. In the June 1952 issue, Madge Wolfenden introduced the partially finished autobiography of Alexander Caulfield Anderson, in which he described the infrequent festivities at the outpost as being “a very warm contrast with the wonted frigidity of our every day’s existence.”
30 Years Ago
Beautiful paintings and sketches by author and artist Terence Shortt graced the Winter 1982 story “Arctic Sketchbook, 1938.” Shortt served as an ornithologist aboard the RMS Nascopie while his cabin companion, Frederick Horsman Varley, was the official artist on the expedition. Both men recorded the animals, birds, landscape, and people that were quickly disappearing from the area.